Day 7 Preview: Northville to Hadley-Lake Luzerne

Cycle Adirondacks 2016 - Day 7 MapCYCLE ADIRONDACKS 2016 – DAY 7 PREVIEW

DISTANCE: 26 or 55 MI
MAX ELEVATION: 1,024 or 978 FT
SHORT ROUTE GAIN: + 1,321 / – 1,512 FT
LONG ROUTE GAIN: + 2,280 / – 2,470 FT
Ride with GPS Map: Short Option
Ride with GPS Map: Long Option

Exiting Northville we have two options: the short 26 mile route or the longer 53 ride that adds a trip around the southern end of Great Sacandaga Lake. Either way, you’ll spend most of the day along the beautiful lake shore. Great Sacandaga Lake is a reservoir created in 1930 when the Conklingville Dam was constructed to mitigate flooding on the Hudson and Sacandaga Rivers. Today, the dam and reservoir play a dual role in managing river levels and providing abundant year-round recreational opportunities.

Long route riders will visit the communities of Mayfield and Broadalbin before crossing the Northville Road Bridge and rejoining the rest of the group in Edinburg. Make sure you grab that camera before crossing the bridge because the view is spectacular!


Once the group reconnects we’ll traverse the north shore together up to the Conklingville dam. But rather than crossing back to the south shore along the dam we’ll stay north to take in the breathtaking view from the top.

From Conklingville, the Sacandaga River will guide us back to Hadley-Lake Luzerne where we’ll have one last chance to eat, drink and party before closing the books on another fantastic Cycle Adirondacks experience. Whether you choose the 26-mile jaunt or the full 53-mile ride, this final day of cycling will live up to the expectations you’ve come to expect from touring the Adirondacks with Wildlife Conservation Society.

Matt VanSlyke, Event Manager
Cycle Adirondacks

Community Concert Series Announced

Alice's Fault featuring Speedy ArnoldWho’s ready for some incredible cycling followed by equally amazing live entertainment? With just 19 days until the start of Cycle Adirondacks 2016, Wildlife Conservation Society today announced its FREE Community Concert Series lineup. The August 20-27 road cycling tour will feature seven consecutive evenings of free entertainment in six different Adirondack communities.

Each venue is open to the public and offers a beer garden featuring Good Nature Farm Brewery and local food concessions. Entertainment begins at 7 p.m. nightly.

Aug. 20:          Ernie Sites Band – Sam Smead Park, Hadley-Lake Luzerne

Aug. 21:          Willie Playmore Band – Bicentennial Park, Ticonderoga

Aug. 22:          Alice’s Fault – Old Stone Mill by the Arch Bridge, Keeseville

Aug. 23:          Bicycle Stunts by Sam Perkins, Riverside Park, Saranac Lake
                        The Rider and the Wolf” Documentary Movie, The Waterhole*

Aug. 24:          Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, Riverside Park, Saranac Lake
                        The final Downtown Saranac Lake Music on the Green concert

Aug. 25:          Forever Wild, followed by The Washington County Line Bluegrass Band
                         Indian Lake Central School

Aug. 26:          The Atkinson Family Band – Waterfront Park, Northville

*The Rider and the Wolf documentary is a fundraiser for Barkeater Trails Alliance, a local mountain biking advocacy group.

Sam Perkins performs in Old Forge during Cycle Adirondacks 2015Now in its second year, the nonprofit Cycle Adirondacks tour will bring over 400 people to each community, including 300 cyclists from 35 different states and provinces.

“The reason so many of our 2015 guests rated our tour a ‘top-5 vacation ever’ was because of the experience they had in each of our host communities,” said Zoë Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program Director. “And that’s directly because of the way the members of our host communities made our riders feel like family.”

The 2016 event features overnight stops in Hadley-Lake Luzerne, Ticonderoga, Keeseville, Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Northville, but the tour touches over 45 towns and villages over the nearly 410-mile tour. The event will also engage over 400 community volunteers through the week-long tour.

Cycle Adirondacks Good Nature BrewingA project of Wildlife Conservation Society, the event is designed to provide guests with a true connection to the Adirondacks – its breathtaking landscape and the people who make this 6-million-acre park so special.

Registration is still open for those interested in cycling the event or participating as non-cycling Adventure Travelers, but only a few spots are available for either option.

North Country Public Radio is the media sponsor of the Cycle Adirondacks Community Concert Series.


Day 6 Preview: Indian Lake to Northville

Cycle Adirondacks 2016 Day 5 Map CYCLE ADIRONDACKS 2016 – DAY 6 PREVIEW

DISTANCE: 57 or 64 MI
SHORT ROUTE GAIN: + 2,537 / – 3,486 FT
LONG ROUTE GAIN: + 3,020 / – 3,969 FT
Ride with GPS Map: Short Route
Ride with GPS Map: Long Route

There aren’t many places where you can so easily spend 10 or 15 miles riding along the shore of a single lake or the banks of one river. But as you’ve learned by now, the Adirondack Park is the kind of place where you can do that more than once in a single day. Today we’ll start off along the western shore of Indian Lake and we’ll pass several smaller lakes along the way to Northville.

Sacandaga RiverIn the second half of the day we’ll ride along the Sacandaga River, a wild and scenic gem that provides abundant recreational opportunities. Both routes are “net downhill” today…we start at 1,755’ and end at 624’ with just two categorized climbs. Hopefully that’s like music to your ears (and legs). And maybe that’s enough to convince you to ride today’s long route that goes around Lake Pleasant as an added 9-mile bonus.

We’ll spend a good portion of the day riding on Route 30 because, frankly, it’s pretty much the only road that goes from here to there. There are some side roads we’ll veer onto but for the most part today’s route is on the wide open road with nice paved shoulders to give you plenty of elbow room. But don’t worry, the scenery will blow you away and we have some quiet scenic detours to mix things up.
Northville, New YorkThe communities of Speculator, Lake Pleasant, Wells and Hope are on the route today. Each has its own identity and a wonderful group of volunteer hosts awaiting our arrival. This is what makes Cycle Adirondacks special, the warm welcome we receive along the way. It’s not just our overnight hosts who come out to greet us. You can expect friendly faces and warm smiles at every turn and stop.

Matt VanSlyke, Event Manager
Cycle Adirondacks

Traveling With Your Bike

It’s go time. Cycle Adirondacks is only a few days away. Over the months I’ve provided you with lots of information to help you prepare for this adventure. Let me leave you with a few additional thoughts to help in your travels and keep you safe.

I have traveled with my bikes enough to know just how nerve-wracking it is. I always try to do everything possible to minimize mishaps. Here are some thoughts.

bikeboxTraveling by air/bike shipping (Note: you can’t bring a bike on the planes that fly into Saranac Lake, so we assume you’ll be shipping your bike ahead if you’re flying in):

  • Use an airline-approved bike bag/box. A cardboard bike box may not be sturdy enough to protect your precious cargo.
  • Deflate your tires and leave the CO2 cartridges at home. You can by new ones at the event.
  • Before dismantling your bike, mark the position (using a marker or electrical tape) of your seat tube and bars or any other component you had to remove or move. This will help ensure your bike will fit you the same as it did at home.
  • No matter what type of box/bag you use, consider adding extra protection around the derailleurs and frame.
  • It’s also a good idea to get your hands on some plastic spacers for your front and rear dropouts. Check with your local bike shop to see if they have any lying around from shipments of new bikes.
  • Make sure nothing in the box/bag can move around. Moving parts/equipment can cause damage to your bike.
  • If you’re not comfortable with disassembling and packing your bike yourself, ask your local bike shop to pack it for you. The staff at Placid Planet will be happy to reassemble your bike for you – make sure to let them know your bike is coming.
  • Make sure your name and phone number are on the box/bag. Luggage tags can come off, so don’t rely on them.
  • Take a photo of your packed bike box before closing down the case – just in case…
  • Once you arrive at your destination, reassemble your bike and ride it (Again, best if you ship to Placid Planet and have them reassemble it). Don’t wait till the morning of the tour to discover something’s wrong. Allow yourself the time to have our event mechanics make any final tweaks needed.

BikePacking_MainTraveling by car:

  • If you have room, packing the bike inside the vehicle will protect it from rain and dirt from the road. Just be careful not to crowd the bike and pack other luggage too close, as this could scratch or damage the frame and components.
  • Secure the bike inside so it doesn’t move around and knock into things that could damage the bike.
  • Once at your destination, inspect the bike and take it for a ride. Make sure the derailleurs and/or brakes have not moved or been damaged.
  • If your bike is on a rack outside your vehicle, make sure it is properly fastened and secure.
  • If your bike is on a roof rack, be aware of height limitations for fast-food/ATM drive-throughs, parking garages, low-hanging tree branches, etc.
  • Locking your bike on the rack allows you to leave the vehicle for short periods of time without worrying about the safety of your bike.
  • Never leave your bike on the rack (locked or unlocked) overnight.

Cycle Adirondacks TrainingAlthough most states/provinces share many of the same rules, it’s always good to double-check the key traffic laws for bikes in the state you are visiting. Here are some of the key laws for riding in New York state.

  • All traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.
  • Cyclists shall not ride more than two abreast upon a roadway. Cyclists on a roadway shall ride single-file when being overtaken by a vehicle.
  • Signals are required to be given by bicyclists by hand and arm.
  • Use of more than one earphone is prohibited.

Have a safe trip, everyone! I’ll see some of you on Saturday, August 20 in Hadley-Lake Luzerne. I can’t wait for this adventure to begin – it’s going to be amazing!

Tanya Deeks
Unleash the Beast Multisport Coaching

Day 5 Preview: Saranac Lake to Indian Lake

Cycle Adirondacks 2016 Day 5 MapCYCLE ADIRONDACKS 2016 – DAY 5 PREVIEW

GAIN: + 3,755 / – 3,578 FT
Ride with GPS Map

We’ll begin the second half of the week by leaving Saranac Lake heading west then south, visiting towns and villages that greeted Cycle Adirondacks riders in 2015 and are excited to see you again! Each has its own claim to fame and we’ll make sure you get to witness them at our rest stops. In Tupper Lake, we’ll stop at The Wild Center – an award-winning natural history museum with live exhibits, trails and hands-on activities, including Planet Adirondack and the Wild Walk. Blue Mountain Lake is home to the Adirondack Museum, an open-air campus featuring lush grounds and sweeping views as well as exhibits that tell the unique story of the Adirondacks and its people. It’s a must-see attraction for visitors and residents alike.

Cycle Adirondacks 2016 Blue MountainReturning riders will recognize this route, although we rode it in reverse in 2015. It’s amazing how different a road feels when you’re traveling in the other direction. From Blue Mountain Lake we’re back onto roads new to Cycle Adirondacks. We’re in Hamilton County now, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2016. Hamilton County remained a wilderness long after New York State had been divided into what is presently 62 counties. The County contains approximately 1,806 square miles of beautiful mountainous terrain with lakes, rivers and streams. It is New York State’s third largest county, the least populated and located entirely within the Park. Just outside of Blue Mountain Lake you’ll ride over the “Top of the Dome”. This is the dividing point between the Hudson River and St. Lawrence River watersheds that drain the entire Park. Check in with one of our naturalists and they’ll be happy to explain the significance of the divide.

The community of Indian Lake, home of the Great Adirondack Moose Festival, and the heart of the Hudson River whitewater scene has an incredible program planned to welcome you to this amazing Adirondack town.

It doesn’t get any more “Adirondacks” than this. So sit back in that saddle, relax and take it all in. You’re likely to see more loons and lakes than cars and trucks today, enjoy!

Matt VanSlyke, Event Manager
Cycle Adirondacks

Cycle ADK to Feature Good Nature Beer

Good Nature Farm BreweryWe had so much fun on Cycle Adirondacks 2015, that Good Nature Farm Brewery is back for 2016 as the tour’s official beverage partner! Each night in camp we’ll set up a beer garden for the cyclists and locals to enjoy.

The Adirondacks hold a special place in our hearts. Several of us on the GNB team have family roots in the area and, in fact, GNB co-founders Carrie and Matt met for the first time while working and living in the Lake Placid area. Another fun fact: co-founder Carrie grew up around the corner from Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and even attended Bronx Zoo Summer Camp as a kid. We are excited to be involved with a great organization and event, raising awareness for WCS.


IMG_8524Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room is a small, independent, family-owned microbrewery and tap room located in Hamilton, NY. We are Madison County’s first brewery in 200 years, and are New York state’s first Farm Brewery. We handcraft all-natural ales brewed with local ingredients. Good Nature collaborates with local farmers, artists and small businesses to celebrate all our region has to offer. We offer growler fills, kegs, flights, beer and cider by the glass, merchandise and local food items and crafts, and host special events and live music out of our Tap Room. You can also find our ales in bars and restaurants across New York state. We aim to brew Farm-to-Glass Beers – sourcing locally as much as possible. Our Good Natured Ales are completely unfiltered, and contain no artificial additives or adjuncts. They are fresh as it gets, and focused on the quality of the ingredients.

Good-Nature-LogoWe are so grateful to the Cycle Adirondacks team for inviting Good Nature to participate in this awesome event. We are looking forward to meeting some excellent folks, spending time in the beautiful Adirondacks, listening to some great live music, and slinging our Good Natured Ales for the thirsty Cycle Adirondacks cyclists and all the locals coming out to the beer garden in the evenings!

Aurora Roe
Good Nature Farm Brewery & Taproom

Day 4 Preview: Saranac Lake & Lake Placid

Cycle Adirondacks 2016 Day 4 MapCYCLE ADIRONDACK 2016 – DAY 4 PREVIEW

GAIN: + 1,621 / – 1,621 FT
Ride with GPS Map

Saranac Lake has been dubbed “The Capital of the Adirondacks” and has played a key role in the development and history of the region. Saranac Lake is also often referred to as the Adirondacks’ “Coolest Place.” In winter this community is home to one of the greatest winter carnivals in the world. But as we spend two days in town during late summer we’re blessed to learn about the other half of this moniker.

Downtown Saranac LakeThere is so much to see and do in Saranac Lake that you can easily fill your layover day with off-bike activities, both active and casual. Stop by the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce community tent in camp and our local hospitality team will get you all set up. But we also have something really cool planned for those of you who want to get every inch of riding in this week.

Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Wilmington make up the Olympic Region, famous for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 1932 and 1980. History was made every day during the games. But perhaps no moment in U.S. Olympic history resonates in our hearts and minds as February 22, 1980…the “Miracle on Ice”. Sports Illustrated named the U.S. victory over the Soviet Union’s ice hockey team as the Top Sports Moment of the 20th Century.

Main_St_Fall_from_N'WoodsInnOur layover day ride will bring you past several Olympic venues, including the nordic ski jumping facility, ice rink and speed skating oval. It also includes a stop at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, which includes the grave site of the famous abolitionist. The return lap brings you into the Village of Lake Placid where you will have a full day of activities, shopping and more.

Today is a short day of riding so you can plan to take your time and enjoy all that the Olympic Region has to offer.

Matt VanSlyke, Event Manager
Cycle Adirondacks

Final Prep for a Cycle Adirondacks

The training is well underway. Your legs are getting strong. Your bike has become your new best friend. You think nothing of going grocery shopping in your cycling attire, because that means you’ll have an extra hour riding instead of going home to shower first. Life is good. Life is about the bike!

Now is the time to think about preparation details. Don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. This is the time to ensure you have the right elements in place to make this tour successful. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Make lists! Keep a list of everything you need for the week-long tour. Break it down between needs for the bike, for riding, for camping and for relaxing. As you spend time training and thinking about the tour, add items to the list as you think of them.

Prepare for any weatherPlan for any weather. Although I seriously doubt you need to worry about snow, there is a good chance you will have to contend with some combination of hot sun and wind, rain, cool mornings or fog. Bring appropriate clothing for the different conditions you might ride in. Bring a rain jacket/pants, a warm jacket, and clear glasses as well as sunglasses. Both long- and short-fingered gloves may be in order, as well as leg warmers and arm warmers. Fenders and lots of Ziploc bags are always good additions.

Test any new gear. A week-long tour is not the place to test out new equipment or clothing. Take the time before the tour to install, test and fine-tune any new equipment on your bike. Wear any new clothing for at least one long training ride to ensure it’s as comfortable as expected. Test and be familiar with new high-tech gadgets. Bring them fully charged and don’t forget to bring the user manual and an external battery pack to keep your electronics charged up! (Note: Cycle Adirondacks will have free device charging in camp.)

testing new cycling gearPlan for mechanical problems. Yes, mechanics and the fine folks at Placid Planet Bicycles will be available to help throughout the tour, but it might mean a wait on the side of the road before help comes. Every cyclist should know some basic fixes and have the tools to do it. Being able to fix a flat or a broken chain can really make a difference in how fun your day will be. So bring extra tubes, a pump or CO2 cartridges with an adapter, a chain-break tool, a patch kit, a dollar bill for an emergency tire boot, a multi-tool, and of course a saddle bag to hold it all. Don’t forget your personal lube!

Plan for any personal mishap: A tour can be ruined by something as silly as losing a contact lens, breaking a pair of glasses or getting saddle sores. Plan accordingly. Bring extra contacts or glasses and lots of chamois cream, and I always pack moleskin for blisters or rubs from shoes. Don’t forget your medications!

When packing, keep in mind how long the tour is, how many days you’ll be riding and the extra activities you will engaged in. Will there be a chance to do laundry, and are there limitations on the amount and size of luggage? This information and more will be provided to you by the event organizers well before the tour. Just remember, you’re in the Adirondacks, riding into small towns. Come prepared, and come have fun! And don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen…

Tanya Deeks
Unleash the Beast Multisport Coaching

Day 3 Preview: Keeseville to Saranac Lake

map_2016_route_day3 (1)CYCLE ADIRONDACKS 2016 – DAY 3 PREVIEW

GAIN: + 3,477 / – 2,418 FT
Ride with GPS Map

Apple orchards? Who would have thought? Yup, that’s right today we’re riding through the Adirondack apple country to Saranac Lake, the “Capital of the Adirondacks” and the home base of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program and Cycle Adirondacks. We’re starting in low country today, at just 500’ above sea level. The low and level land in this part of the Park is great for agriculture and we’ll witness that as we pedal out of Keeseville. We’ll spend the first dozen miles or so in farm country then we’ll turn towards the mountains and enjoy breathtaking vistas with an on-the-bike perspective that few others get to see.

2015-05-17 11.08.24This is a good time to point out one of the interesting and unique things that make the Adirondack Park special. For those of you who’ve travelled in other parts of New York State you’ve probably notice the abundance of State Parks, both large and small. The first water stop on Day 3 will be at one of these State Parks. With a few exceptions, the Adirondack Forest Preserve is nearly devoid of New York State Parks. Rather, the Adirondack Park is a six-million acre patchwork of public and private lands, designated in 1892 to protect the region from uncontrolled forest clearing and resource extraction. Today, the Park contains a thriving mix of forests, wetlands, waterways, and human settlement. There are no checkpoints, gates, or fees to enter the Adirondack Park but the “Blue Line” is a symbolic and important boundary that separates this special place from everywhere else. There is a different feel when you’re inside the Blue Line and we’re heading right into the heart of the Park today. So let’s do it…

ISz1zqziq8kalfAfter our second stop of the day – around mile 25 – we will turn to the southeast and towards the world-famous Olympic Region, home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games.

Pedaling into the High Peaks region, you’ll notice that the landscape changes. We’ll move from the open farmland and lakeshore we experienced on Sunday and Monday into the more rugged, iconic Adirondack forests and lakes.

Our route into Saranac Lake is a local favorite. Local cyclists agree that this is THE way to get from the eastern side of the Park into the High Peaks and Saranac Lake. We think you’ll agree once you’ve seen it. You’ll get a nice orientation of downtown Saranac Lake on the way into Arrival day wanderings about Saranac Lake on Friday, August 21, 2015.Cycle Adirondacks camp and you’ll see that we’re set up in town so you can easily get set up, cleaned up and head back for an afternoon and evening of entertainment. Get ready to have the red carpet rolled out for you. The Village of Saranac Lake is our home and we’re so glad to welcome you.

Matt VanSlyke, Event Manager
Cycle Adirondacks

Plan Your “Day Off” Activities

Day Off ActivitiesOf course, we’ll sign and staff an incredible route on Wednesday, Aug. 24, but since Cycle Adirondacks isn’t moving camp from Saranac Lake until the 25th, you have the option to take a day, or part of a day, off from your bike to explore the incredible amenities that make the “Capital of the Adirondacks” the perfect home for Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program. And with that, how’s this for a menu?


Note: For any activities that require a reservation, please call as soon as possible to claim your spot. Packages are available exclusively for registered Cycle Adirondacks riders. 

Rail Bike Ride – Ride customized “rail bikes” on the tracks of an old railway line. Location: Saranac Lake Depot. Price: Varies. Spots Available: Varies. Time: All day; reservations strongly suggested. Get There: 15-minute walk from camp, or they will store your bikes for you if you ride over. Contact: Rail Explorers USA,; 518-460-1444.

Secret Pond Swim Picnic – A relaxed day of choices: light hiking, swimming, or just lolling around a campfire with marshmallows/s’mores, at a secluded pond. Location: It’s a secret! Price: $25. Spots Available: 8. Time: Leave camp at 9 a.m. Get There: Meet at the shuttle stop in camp. Vendor: Meredith Turk (Adventure Traveler guide):; 847-571-6522.

Guided Saranac 6er Hike – Scale one of the six notable local peaks with a local guide. Location: Mt. Baker. Price: Free. Spots Available: 8 for each hike. Times: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Get There: Be at the camp shuttle stop 5 minutes before the listed time. Contact: Johnny Muldowney, Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce,

Guided Canoe/Kayak Trip – Explore the local waterways with a knowledgeable guide. Location: Middle to Lower Saranac Lake (10 a.m.) or State Bridge to Ampersand Bay (2 p.m.). Price: $99/person (10 a.m.; includes lunch) or $79/person (2 p.m.). Spots Available: 20 for each trip. Times: 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Get There: Be at camp shuttle stop at the time listed. Vendor: St. Regis Canoe Outfitters,; 518-891-1838.

Lake Flower Boat Tour – Cruise the tranquil and picturesque Lake Flower and beyond, in the heart of Saranac Lake. Location: Riverside Park (site of our entertainment stage). Price: $25/person (1-hour) and $40/person (2-hour). Spots Available: 7 for each trip. Times: 12:45 p.m. (1-hour trip); 2:00 p.m. (2-hour trip); 4:15 p.m. (1-hour trip). Get There: Walk from camp to the boat dock in the park. Contact: Dan Sullivan,; 518-572-1881.

Self-Guided Canoe/Kayak Trip – Take off on your own on a local lake with rental equipment, for a do-it-yourself adventure. Location: Lower Saranac Lake. Price: $60/person. Spots Available: 12. Time: 1:00 p.m. Get There: Be at the camp shuttle stop at 1:00. Vendor: Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters,; 518-891-7450.

10393925_945206628867038_2821456983008490537_nHistoric Saranac Lake Walking Tour – Explore the history of Saranac Lake’s handsome downtown and beyond – you’ll be surprised how much has happened here! Location: Downtown Saranac Lake. Price: $5/person; includes museum admission. Spots Available: 25. Time: 3:00 p.m. Get There: Walk from camp; meet at the community tent. Contact: Historic Saranac Lake, ; 518-891-4606.

Art Gallery Tours – Browse through Saranac Lake’s art galleries to check out works from local artists and beyond. Location: Downtown Saranac Lake. Price: Free. Spots Available: No Limit. Time: All day. Get There: Walk from camp; walking maps available at the community tent or join a local artist for a guided tour at 3:30 p.m. from the Community Tent. Contact: Saranac Lake Art Works,